Contact Energy, the country’s second-largest gas and power retailer, says full-year profit fell 13 percent as low hydro storage increased its energy costs and tough competition kept pressure on retail margins.
Contact Energy is selling its Rockgas LPG business to gas network operator Gas Services NZ Midco for $260 million, which it will use to pay down debt.
It seems this dry winter has been both a blessing and a curse for Contact Energy. It lost revenues because its dams couldn't generate power, but it won customers from those retailers who passed on this winter's more than doubling of wholesale prices.
A report for MBIE has found the Electricity Authority's NZ$15 million 'What's My Number' website and marketing campaign to encourage consumers to switch power retailers appeared not to have reduced power prices or increased competition much.
The average residential electricity bill rose 2.9% in 2013, including a 2.2% increase in distribution and transmission charges and a 3.4% increase in energy and retail charges.
The Electricity Authority has announced its Retail Advisory Group is considering recommending to the Authority that all retailers itemise lines charges in their bills.
Prime Minister John Key has defended significant increases in power prices for consumers as necessary to fund Transpower's national grid upgrades, arguing power price increases had been less under National than under Labour.
This chart (prepared by PwC for the Electricity Networks Association in May 2013) attempts to unravel the proportions of electricity charges related to lines distribution charges, electricity generation costs, network transmission costs and GST.
The Electricity Authority (EA) has announced it will be reviewing retailers' claims they are putting up prices because of higher distribution charges.
A Green Party analysis of MBIE figures has found average power prices have risen 19.5% or NZ$360 per household per year since the National-led Government took office in November 2008.